Outlook on multiple computers - how?
September 21, 2005 12:52 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to start using outlook on my new laptop, while continuing to use it on my desktop? I'd like them to be synched. (with out using exchange) How to transfer current outlook e-mail account settings, current e-mails, rules, to other computers?

I copied the .pst file to the laptop. I got my folders and old e-mails, but not the account settings or rules. I was able to export and import the rules. So the last thing that is left are my actual e-mail accounts. Isn't there an easier way to transfer these settings over to a new computer?
posted by Fishing Nut to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Are you refering to emails that are already on your desktop or new ones that come in? If it is new emails than one thing you can do is in the options check the box saying "leave a copy of the message on the server" or something to that regard. Then you will be able to download a copy to both machines. Right next to that option you can tell it to then delete messages off the server after a certain number of days so they don't start building up and wasting space.
posted by meta87 at 5:30 AM on September 21, 2005

I use Airset.com to keep the Calendar and Contacts synched between the 3 computers on which I use Outlook. Meta87's suggestion is also what i do re the mail itself. I've been unable to auto-synch Rules or Notes. I can backup the Rules onto a thumbdrive and plug it into each unit (my Rules do not often change). If you find a better way (or a way to synch the Notes), please post it.
posted by Carsey at 10:07 AM on September 21, 2005

Keeping two copies of Outlook in sync without using Exchange is going to be a pain in the ass. There's software out there that claims to do it but none of it looks seamless and reliable.

I've read about other folks just storing their .pst file on a USB key and running Outlook from that. Make sure you back it up!

If your only objection to Exchange is that you don't have a server, you can get a hosted Exchange account for about $10 a month that will keep Outlook in sync on as many machines as you like and provide web access. That's the solution I use.
posted by zanni at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2005

Use a mail service that offers IMAP.

All exchange is is IMAP with LDAP authentication. I can't believe Microsoft charges money for it. Seriously.

I also can't believe that with disk space as cheap as it is (notice Google giving away 2.5G of mail storage), that any ISP or other entity still prefers POP. Centralize the mail; centralize spam filtering; create simple web access... etc.
posted by autojack at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2005

Oh, and while you're at it, use Thunderbird. Or, wait until Outlook or some other calamity eats your PST filefor lunch. Or wait for your PST file to exceed 2G in size (boy does the fun start THEN). Outlook's UI is nice but the back end makes baby Jesus cry.
posted by autojack at 2:01 PM on September 21, 2005

Having the .pst file on a thumbdrive sounds like an interesting idea. I"ve played with the .pst file, but noticed that the account settings don't seem to be included within the file. I have to manually set up the e-mail accounts again on the new computer. Is there a way to export and import the e-mail account settings easily in outlook? I see I can do it with the rules, but I don't see an option for the e-mail account settings...
Also, are there any outlook centric web sites with tips and tricks you might recommend?

posted by Fishing Nut at 2:13 PM on September 21, 2005

Wow, AirSet rocks!
posted by JamesMessick at 8:20 AM on August 22, 2006

And I have since synced with my two-home computers and have no problems. I even imported about 400 contacts from my old Palm Pilot file that is still on my hard drive. I then changed the settings back to Outlook, so all my old contacts are now in Outlook. Lovein it!
posted by JamesMessick at 2:59 AM on August 23, 2006

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